Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday (Update) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.
|If he goes to jail, Monisha Kaltenborn could replace Bernie|
- Red Bull must clear hurdles for Austria GP return
- No more Friday appearances for Kovalainen
- Ecclestone hints woman could succeed him
- Mercedes using infrared camera to monitor tires
- F1 pays just £1m tax in UK New
- Jean Todt set to face re-election opposition New
Red Bull must clear hurdles for Austria GP return
(GMM) Red Bull needs to clear some hurdles before the Austrian grand prix can go ahead in 2014.
The energy drink company and Bernie Ecclestone announced on Tuesday that an agreement to stage a race mid next year at the former A1-Ring, now called the Red Bull Ring, has been reached.
APA news agency said the "provisional" deal is for at least seven consecutive Austrian grands prix.
But Red Bull's statement on Tuesday admitted the deal is "on condition of approval by the required authorities".
One necessary approval, it has emerged, is the extension of the circuit's allowed spectator attendance for an event from just 40,000 people on two consecutive days.
"The question of the limits of the spectators," Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz admitted to Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, "is to be clarified."
Reports also refer to limitations of the allowed decibel noise levels at the track, and backdated permission for the formation of a spectator bank.
"The conditions (for a F1 race) will certainly not be easy to fulfill," said local ombudsman Karl Arbesser, according to the German-language Speed Week.
"I do not know if they (Red Bull) will have an operating license for 2014."
Another local administrator, Harald Schnedl, told APA that Red Bull will have to submit a full "noise, emissions and traffic engineering concept" prior to approval.
And Kleine Zeitung newspaper said the Red Bull Ring will have to improve the current media centre, which is currently "too small" for formula one.
Local residents, meanwhile, could also put up obstacles.
"Residents will have a say," said the report, "and could delay the proceedings with objections."
Meanwhile, Mateschitz admitted the race will cost him money.
"With the gate (ticket) receipts I will cover the organizational costs, but not the license fee.
"But Red Bull Racing won both of the world championships in the past three years, which was certainly an advantage to getting the race," he added.
No more Friday appearances for Kovalainen
(GMM) Heikki Kovalainen has admitted he is unlikely to reappear for Caterham during Friday practice sessions in 2013.
"I think not," said the Finn, who after losing his race seat at the end of last year, was drafted in for Friday morning practice in Bahrain and Spain.
But Kovalainen told Russia's Championat that further appearances in 2013 are unlikely, given that Caterham is now pushing ahead with development of next year's car.
"When I came in for the practices," he explained, "it was because it was proving quite difficult for the team to assess some of the new items at the start of the championship.
"Now there is no such need, so I don't think I will be driving again on Friday," Kovalainen added.
However, the 31-year-old has been linked with the underperforming Giedo van der Garde's race cockpit, and Kovalainen admitted he is not interested in switching to another series, such as Le Mans or DTM.
"At the moment, no," he insisted.
"My only concern is formula one. This year already I had a lot of suggestions from different series, but my heart is in F1."
Kovalainen said his task is to convince a team that he is better value than a rival driver who brings sponsorship to his seat.
"I have always been paid," he insisted. "I have never looked for money to get a seat. I didn't do it before, and I will not do it in the future.
"I think that (money) is the only reason I'm not racing right now."
Ecclestone hints woman could succeed him
(GMM) Monisha Kaltenborn has raced into pole position to succeed Bernie Ecclestone at the very top of formula one.
It emerged recently that, as a result of the Russian rescue deal, Sauber team boss and co-owner Kaltenborn could be shuffled out of Hinwil.
42-year-old Kaltenborn, Indian-born but with Austrian citizenship, has often been mentioned alongside Red Bull's Christian Horner as a possible successor for F1 chief executive Ecclestone.
At 82 years of age and now facing serious bribery charges and consequences in Germany, Ecclestone was asked the question about his succession this week by Sport Bild magazine.
"Why not a woman?" he is quoted as saying in the German report. "I can imagine that absolutely.
"I believe that women generally don't have such big egos, and they don't need to go and play golf in order to close deals.
"They simply work harder to get the same recognition as men. And because their ego is less important, they are also less emotional in making decisions," added Ecclestone.
Mercedes using infrared camera to monitor tires
(GMM) Mercedes is the author of the latest F1 innovation, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Suffering in recent years with a lack of in-season development, and recently grappling with excessive tire wear, the report said the Brackley based team has come up with a cunning trick in 2013.
It is a thermal infrared camera, mounted backwards on the front wing of the W04 cars raced this season by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The mini camera streams data to engineers about the live performance of Pirelli's sensitive 2013 tires, including early signs about possible overheating.
F1 pays just £1m tax in UK
Formula One pays under £1 million in UK tax on profits of over £300 million according to a report in the Independent.
The report is based on a prospectus for F1's planned flotation in Singapore and references on figures from 2011. It claims the sport has a complex arrangement with the UK's HM Revenue and Customs that allowed it to pay £945,663 of corporation tax after amassing revenues of £980m even though most of its commercial operations are based in the UK.
The article explains that the Formula One Group is made up of 30 companies and tax deductable interest on intra-group loans between those companies allows the group as whole to minimize its tax bill.
"We have an efficient tax position," read an extract from the prospectus. "We expect our aggregate cash tax payments to remain broadly consistent with prior years."
The prospectus adds: "The group's tax charge is materially dependent on the amount of UK tax relief available to it for interest expense on certain intra-group loans. The amount of such relief is limited to the 'arm's length' amount of interest, which can be a subjective matter. In order to obtain greater certainty regarding our affairs we have since 2008 operated pursuant to a formal advance thin capitalization agreement with the UK's tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs, which... applies until 31 December 2017."
Starbucks, Google and Amazon were among companies that hit the headlines earlier this year for paying little tax in the UK despite having large operations in the country. The news of Formula One's tax bill was carried on the front page of the Independent on Wednesday as an exclusive. ESPN.co.uk
FIA president Jean Todt set to face re-election opposition
FIA president Jean Todt looks likely to face strong opposition as he eyes a second term at the head of motorsport's governing body.
It was thought he may walk into a second term uncontested but a report in the Times says David Ward, who worked with previous president Max Mosley in the past, is considering standing against him. According to the report, Ward, who also worked on Todt's campaign three years ago when the ex-Ferrari boss beat rally legend Ari Vatanen to the presidency, has been gaining support from within the FIA and Formula One.
"This is not what I intended nor what I wanted, but I am certainly thinking about \[standing\] because it is important to have a debate," Ward was quoted by the Times. "You can only have a debate if there is a choice of candidates and there is no debate if there is no choice."
Ward is currently the Director General of the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society and has a background in politics after working as policy advisor to ex-British Labour party leader John Smith. His first job in the FIA was in the European Bureau in Brussels and he was one of the key players behind the European NCAP crash test scheme, which was considered to be among Mosley's most important initiatives away from motorsport.
The opposition to Todt comes at a crucial time for Formula One as the FIA attempts to agree terms on a new Concorde Agreement with the teams and F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone. ESPN.co.uk